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No Banker Left Behind


Published November 18, 2011


Ry Cooder Takes On the Banks

Ry_Cooder-01.jpgYou can bail out the banks, or you can sing out about them. OWS theme songs are important! Here's the idea behind my nomination. Listen to the unmistakable musical voice of Ry Cooder. Bankers can't be choosers. The legendary performer-composer behind the politically astute Buena Vista Social Club spoke to Nicola Standbridge of the BBC about his new album.

"No Banker Left Behind" is the opening track to Ry Cooder's 2011 album, "Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down," available at http://www.nonesuch.com/albums/pull-up-some-dust-and-sit-down.

Inspired by a news headline about the Wall Street bailout, Ry Cooder began work on his "Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down" album with his song No Banker Left Behind. It's a familiar OWS story about greedy and corrupt bankers in the one per-cent club. They were spared from the financial meltdown with a bailout from taxpayers. The other 99 per-cent of us were left to fend for ourselves.

Uncut calls the album "one of his best albums ever ... an impassioned portrait of 21st century America and its injustices" in which Cooder is "remade as a modern-day Woody Guthrie, fearless and funny, for like Guthrie he nails his targets with droll humour while empathising with society's underdogs." The BBC calls it "essential listening."

Ry Cooder's No Banker Left Behind lyrics:


C
My telephone rang one evening, my buddy called for me

F C G
Said the bankers are all leavin', you better come round and see

C
It started revelation, they robbed the nation blind,

F C F C G C
They're all down at the station, no banker left behind.

G
No banker, no banker, no banker could I find.

C F C G C
They were all down at the station, no banker left behind

Well the bankers called a meetin', to the whitehouse they went one day
They was going to call one the president, in a quiet and a sociable way
The afternoon was sunny and the weather it was fine
They counted all our money and no banker was left behind

No banker, no banker, no banker could I find.
They were all down at the white house, no banker was left behind

Well I hear the whistle blowin, it plays a happy tune
The conductor is calling "all abort", we'll be leavin soon
With champagne and shrimp cocktails and that's not all you'll find
There's a billion dollar bonus and no banker left behind

No banker, no banker, no banker could I find.
When the train pulled out next mornin', no banker was left behind
No banker, no banker, no banker could I find.
When the train pulled out next mornin', no banker was left behind

No banker, no banker, no banker could I find.
They were all down at the station, no banker left behind
No banker, no banker, no banker could I find.
When the train pulled out next mornin', no banker was left behind.

Ry_Cooder-02.jpg

OWS sings with Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie entourage

Pete Seeger, Tao Rodríguez-Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Guy Davis, Tom Paxton, Tom Chapin and David Amram joining Occupy Wall Street on a march from Broadway and 95th Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, down to Columbus Circle at Broadway and 59th Street. Occupy Wall Street sings these songs with them.

Track 02 is We Shall Overcome.

Track 03 is This Little Light.

Workers Struggles and Union Songs for OWS

Track 04 is another OWS theme song from days of old. It was written by Florence Reece in 1931. She was the wife of Sam Reece, a union organizer for the United Mine Workers in Harlan County, Kentucky. In 1931, the miners of that region were locked in a bitter and violent struggle with the mine owners. In an attempt to intimidate the Reece family, Sheriff J. H. Blair and his men (hired by the mining company) illegally entered the Reece family home in search of Sam Reece. Sam had been warned in advance and escaped, but Florence and their children were terrorized in his place. That night, after the men had gone, Florence wrote the lyrics to "Which Side Are You On?" on a calendar that hung in the kitchen of her home. -- sung by Almanac Singers

Track 05 is Pete Seeger performing Which Side Are You On? to a live audience. “Participation!" says Pete Seeger. "It’s what all my work has been about.” Listen as Pete sings Florence Reece's beloved lyrics to the audience. He always get them to sing the lyrics with him, especially the chorus.

Come all you good workers
Good news to you I'll tell
Of how the good old union
Has come in here to dwell

Which side are you on boys?
Which side are you on?

My daddy was a miner
He's now in the air and sun
He'll be with you fellow workers
Until the battle's won

Which side are you on boys?
Which side are you on?

They say in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there
You'll either be a union man
Or a thug for J. H. Claire

Which side are you on boys?
Which side are you on?

Oh workers can you stand it?
Oh tell me how you can
Will you be a lousy scab
Or will you be a man?

Which side are you on boys?
Which side are you on?

Don't scab for the bosses
Don't listen to their lies
Poor folks ain't got a chance
Unless they organize

Which side are you on boys?
Which side are you on?


Pete Seeger and the crowd singing. This is what Democracy sounds like!

Pete_Seeger.jpg

Proud to be a Sucker for the Rich Man

Track 06 is the song, Proud to be a Sucker for the Rich Man, from the album, Your Mother Made a Mistake, by the group ENTROPY ON TAP. It captures the essence of the economic struggle but still has a sense of humor.

Bail Out America project

Track 07: This music video was created as part of the Doo-Occupy, Bail Out America project, a collaboration instigated by the Backbone Campaign (http://BackboneCampaign.org) to spread best practices in community organizing for eviction protection, student debt relief and other economic democracy causes - and combine them with the strategic thinking and the hottest tactical tools used by Backbone Campaign and others.

Our hope is to provide focus and capacity to the emerging populist uprising. We wish to help amplify its power through inspiring movement-building campaigns that are rooted in communities and deliver victories that make a material difference in people's lives.

Through this we will grow our movement from the power we have to the power we need to transform society and establish a new social contract based not on citizenship or property, but on universal human rights.

CREDITS: This project would not have happened without the generous collaboration of our musicians, technicians and volunteer co-Producer Ariel. Here are the roles that everyone played thus far.

Ariel Zevon - Lead Vocal, Writer, and Co-Producer
Phil Carr - Drums
John Rovetto - Bass
Max Bronstein-Paritz - Guitar
Bennett Shapiro, Mad Tech Sound - Sound Engineer
Adam Woogmaster - Back Up vocals and music coordination
Brandon German provided action footage from City Life /Vida Urbana actions in Boston
Eric Perlman - Video editor extrordinaire
Bill Moyer - Co-Producer


Run time 21:22
Producer Ry Cooder
Production Company MonteVideo Grafix
Audio/Visual sound, color

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